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Reflection: Joomladay Chicago 2014

Joomladay Chicago

For anyone who is interested in Joomla!, either as a CMS or as an application platform, attending a JoomlaDay event should be on the list of things to do every year. This year, I've been to two. On July 19th, I was at Joomladay Minnesota in Minneapolis, and then this weekend, I'm at Joomladay Chicago. In fact, I write this post from the desk at the condo where I'm staying.

Joomladays are fun and exciting. They are places to learn and teach. Events to validate your hard work and get inspired to do bigger and better things.


Although the Chicago Joomladay this year was a small event, held in the Microsoft offices at AON center, It was a place to meet old (and not so old) friends, make some new ones, and ones that I'd talked to on the phone or through email, but never met (That's you Charlie!).

Michael Babker kicked things off with "The Success of Joomla 3" - The Joomla history and why it's been so successful. His well delivered talk included references to his role in the Production Leadership Team (PLT), Joomla releases and a call to help the Joomla! community.

During the rest of the day, various speakers taught and informed event-goers about many different aspects of Joomla.

At the end of the day, David Hurley, Community Development Manager for Joomla and member of PLT inspired everyone to focus on the right things, and challenged all to become leaders for the social good. 

JoomlaDay Chicago 2014

It can be truly said that you can never have enough of a good thing, and that's exactly the case when it comes to the Joomla! CMS! Having just come back from JoomlaDay Minnesota (yeah, already got tickets for next year), in Minneapolis, I just barely had time to unpack my bags before having to pack them again. This time, it's off to the JoomlaDay Chicago on August 9th.

Back to where it all started...

My personal "Story" began at JoomlaDay Chicago two years ago. Being just a web guy back then, I was suddenly scooped up in a whirlwind which really changed everything for me. From the CMS itself, to the supportive community - I was hooked! Read More about my 2012 trip

A Few JoomlaDay Chicago Tickets Are Still Available

I'm really hoping to see you in Chicago this year! I'd love for you to experience a JoomlaDay with me. There's really nothing like it in the world -- Not even WordCamp or Drupalcons can compare. These are friendly, different and fun!

WhereMicrosoft Technology Center (Aon Center)
When: August 9, 2014
Cost: $65
Website: JoomlaDayChicago.com

See you there!

Son Koral, Organizer
Joomla Detroit
(734) 799-0334

JoomlaDay Detroit - History

JoomlaDay Detroit was planned and failed two years ago... But that didn't stop us!

True, We tried putting together a JDay Detroit two years ago, right after I came back from JDay Chicago 2012, but the plans crashed and burned with the fact that I couldn't find a venue that was willing to sponsor the event. Sure, we could have just rented the space, but the issue was that we did not have capital to put down the deposit to hold the date as every venue asked for.

We've always wanted to do a Joomladay, but only now, do we have the knowledge and resources to actually make it happen. This series of posts is our story in making JoomlaDay Detroit a reality.

Sample JoomlaDay Email To JUG

JoomlaDay Detroit Announced to the Meetup group

During our regular Joomla User Group (JUG) meeting on July 25, 2014, I made the announcement that we were considering going ahead with JoomlaDay again. The response was warm, but I'm worried that people don't know just how much goes into a JoomlaDay. In our group, I'm the only one who's ever been to a JDay, and so I'm unsure what the rest of the group thinks about what goes into an event such as this.

In order to get the message across as best as I could, I sent out an email that just outlined the beginning of my thoughts. I threw this out there for feedback and ideas from the group. Below, is the sanitized email in case you're looking to start a JoomlaDay, and need to get your JUG on board.

View/copy the sample email below on Google Docs

Hi All!

This email is just a culmination of the thoughts that are swimming around in my head concerning the organization of the first JoomlaDay Detroit in either late 2015 or early 2016.

What is a Joomladay?

One way in which Joomla! raises awareness for Open Source software and increases their community is through larger annual events called “Joomla! Days.” These Joomla! days are typically a one or two day weekend event focused on Joomla! users, developers, site owners and other interested parties and usually draws a substantial regional audience. In 2012 alone there were over 200 Joomla! Day events around the world. These events are generally very well attended and include focuses on a wide variety of topics including Joomla!, Open Source software, small business growth and development, Web technologies, as well as other business topics.

Planning Groups

In order for this Joomla day to run successfully, we are all a part of a general group responsible for planning and making sure things work.

General Group

Includes everyone - this is a general discussion group that assures that responsibilities are met and that tasks get done.

Below is a list of all the moving parts (that I can think of right now) to creating a successful JoomlaDay event:

  • Venue - we need to secure a venue in order to dictate when we can hold the event. Ideally, we are looking for (Date here) or (Date here)

  • Sponsors - In order to fund the event, we need many different sponsors, and each for different things and/or sponsor levels - we will also have to work on a sponsor appreciation night. This may include going to a Lion’s game or really nice dinner.

  • Marketing - No one will know about it if we don’t market. We need to push the event out to social media and live audiences

  • Promotional - Sponsors will want to promote their products and services, and one way that is accomplished is in attendee “Grab Bags”. We need to ensure that all sponsors are represented in each grab bag.

  • Food and Beverage - We are responsible for food and drink. With some venues, the food and drink can be purchased as a part of the package, but with other venues we may have to cater in.

  • Technical needs - most venues have wi-fi, but we also will need projectors for each room, if not provided and screens.

  • Speaker talk applications - group that reviews the speaker talks and determines which track the talk belongs in and moves to track scheduling for times.

  • Track Scheduling - ensure that all the speakers slots are filled and presenters know when they’re presenting

  • Entertainment - Will we have entertainment (DJ, Live Performance) during lunch, dinner or after?

  • Video Recording - All speaker tracks will need to be recorded and published to the web.

  • Registration - we will need to handle registration from all attendees

  • Volunteers - that will handle setup, take down, registering guests on the day of, passing out grab bags, etc…

I’m sure that there’s a ton of other things to consider, but we can at least get the ball rolling on what’s here.

Where we’re at now…

This is the planning stage. Although I’ve already started talking to a few venues that potentially could sponsor the event, nothing is set in stone. We don’t have a time or date set, and that’s going to be dictated more by our venue’s availability than anything else.

  • Location #1 - Description and where you're at with venue negotiations.

  • Location #2, etc... Description and where you're at with venue negotiations.

Logo Design -Do you have a logo in mind?

Event Planning - Who will be assisting on the General planning team?

Folks, We have a long way to go, but this will be a fun ride for who ever would like to come aboard! While we can’t make any promises, we will tell you it will be an experience like no other! During the planning for our JoomlaDay next year, try to make it to one yourself to experience what really goes into it. For a current list of Joomladays around the US and world, hop on over to http://events.joomla.org/ for a listing of upcoming events.

JoomlaDay Resources

This helpful link list is what we have been referring to while planning for the JoomlaDay Detroit event.


Donations and Gifts

Donations that go to keeping the Meetup 100% Free are welcome!